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my PII 450 with 128 mb ram runs Fedora Core 2 at a decent speed, but the speed differences between Gnome and KDE are scary. i luv KDE, but eats memory while Gnome is extremely faster and more streamlined.
What do yall think? KDE, Gnome, or something else?
I personally don't understand why KDE is slow for some people. I wonder if it's not some particular feature or service that I sitch off that makes it slow, because I don't get the slow thing.
I have mdk 9.2 and KDE running on a all sorts of boxes here, including a ancient pentium 150 with 64 meg ram, and it runs fine. And yes I have fc2 on this box to compare with the mdk10 install - and really I don't see a lot of speed difference between KDE and gnome...
I myself like KDE more than Gnome, but in the questions of "which is better" its a preference thing really. You also may want to lower the settings on kde if it is much slower than gnome. KDE can take up a lot of ram but if you take out a lot of the "eye candy" then it should run much faster for your system and use less ram.
Gnome is like you noticed the fastest of the two but I couldn't use it longer than really necesarry (I had to print something and hadn't looked at how to configure it manually so I used gnome).
However a real drawback to gnome is it's configurability. I downloaded 2.6 I think and it has a few loose configuration programs but not like KDE which has the complete control center which I still like but well KDE runs too slow and I like most gnome programs more than the KDE ones. Now I'm going to try 2.8 (don't know why not doing it feels like I'm missing something) and hope there's more configurability and otherwise I'll just delete it.
Those environments are there for people who want to do things the easy way it seems as things that should be easy to configure (like menus) are made a lot harder only to make things appear. Just give me a text file and I fill in where my program is anyway don't need no automatic stuff in there.
My main window manager is Icewm anyway which is easy to use, configure and really fast. It's just that sometimes learning is a bit easier if you've seen programs configure for example my printer so I can search easier for info.